88 A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
The first case occurred many years ago when I was investigating various cults which had raised their heads all over Europe and America. One of them was led by a man of dubious character, formerly a clergyman, expelled from the Church; yet a man of considerable knowledge and forceful personality. My investigations revealed the fact that he possessed strong hypnotic power and that he was abusing this power for unworthy ends, besides exploiting credulous people for money. Beyond warning those of his victims whom I knew, I kept this discovery to myself, acting on my usual belief that every scoundrel meets an eventual Nemesis. The climax came when, apparently by accident, I met in the street at ten o'clock in the evening someone whose husband I knew fairly well. The lady seemed so strange in manner that I stopped to converse with her and was astounded to hear that she was just then en route to the unfrocked clergyman with whom, she calmly told me, she was going to pass the night. I guided her to the nearest lamp-post, where I raised her face to the light and examined the whites and pupils of her eyes. What I saw therein .was sufficient indication that she was completely hypnotized and I, therefore, thought it my duty to de-hypnotize her immediately and persuade her to return home.
The following day I visited a friend to consult him about the matter. He was an Indian and, in fact, none other than my friend of the second chapter of A Search in Secret India. I related to him all the details of wrhat I had unearthed about this ex-clergyman's ravages among weak-natured people, adding that I felt such a dangerous man could no longer be allowed to pursue his spoliating path unchecked. The Indian agreed; indeed, he became exceedingly angry and proposed that he should lay a heavy curse upon the fellow. I knew that the 3 ndian was learned in the ways of his native Yoga and the arts ot Oriental fakirs, and that a curse issuing from his lips would be no light thing. Judging such action to be a little stronger than was necessary, I said he could do as he pleased but I had thought of a more lenient way, and that was to order the 'fellow to take himself off and never show his head again. The Indian said that I should do that, too, but he for his part was going to carry out the curse; which he did.
At the conclusion of this rite I immediately left to carry out my own plan and went in quest of its victim. I found the pseudo-prophet, together with a large body of his disciples, in